As if childhood abuse wasn’t heinous enough, new research published Wednesday in JAMA Psychiatry suggests that it may lead to disastrous health consequences decades down the road, though only for certain groups.

Researchers studied data taken from a long-running national survey, ultimately looking at more than 6,000 adults aged 25 to 74 who had first taken it in 1995. When they looked at the participants twenty years later, they found that women who self-reported some type of childhood abuse, regardless of severity, were more likely to have died during the study period than those who hadn’t (there were 1,091 deaths in total). The link between an early death and self-reported childhood abuse remained even after the researchers accounted for factors like the women’s socioeconomic status as children, their personality traits, and whether they experienced depression as adults.

Women who reported moderate physical abuse over emotional abuse were at slightly greater risk of an early death — 30 percent versus 22 percent after controlling for other factors — and the more types of abuse simultaneously reported or the more severe it was, the greater the risk.

“In addition to its established psychiatric consequences, reports of childhood abuse may also have long-term ramifications for health and longevity among women,” the authors wrote.

Childhood abuse has been tied to a laundry list of later health problems such as depression, an increased risk of suicide, and even migraines. The current study, according to the researchers, is the first to find that these corrosive health effects can eventually impact a person’s lifespan.

Perplexingly, though, there was no association between death and childhood abuse in men, which the researchers couldn’t explain off-hand. Offering some educated guesses, they theorized there might be biological differences between how men and women respond to stress, such as the release of steroid hormones, that could explain the varying health outcomes.

“Psychologically, it may also be that men and women have different coping strategies for dealing with adversities such as abuse and that men’s strategies, on average, may be more protective for their long-term health,” they further speculated.

Given that as many as one-fourth of children experience some type of abuse or maltreatment during their lifetimes, according to research cited by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the focus on addressing these victims’ needs should be even higher than it currently is, the researchers wrote.

“These findings suggest that women who report child abuse continue to be vulnerable to premature mortality and perhaps should receive greater attention in interventions aimed at promoting health,” they concluded.

Source: Chen E, Turiano N, Mroczek D, et al. Association of Reports of Childhood Abuse and All-Cause Mortality Rates in Women. JAMA Psychiatry. 2016.

Read More:

Child Sexual Abuse Raises Likelihood Of Cardiovascular Problems For Middle-Aged Women. Read here.

Trouble Sleeping? Childhood Trauma And Abuse May Contribute To Insomnia In Adulthood. Read here.